Last Sunday, Panorama India in partnership with the Consulate General of India, Toronto, celebrated India’s 73rd anniversary of Independence Day with a festival and grand parade. But the mainstream media chose to concentrate their attention on the 2,000 protesters who gathered on the edges of Nathan Phillips Square holding placards and chanting anti-India slogans in their successful bid to draw attention to the plight of Kashmir.
Toronto police set up barriers to separate the protest from an India Day celebration being held at the same time inside the square.
Many media outlets chose to treat the celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square, as a side-event, regardless of the fact that this day long event witnessed participation of over 80,000 Indians, Indo-Canadians and friends of India.
The event kicked off with national anthems of Canada and India. Chair of Panorama India Anu Srivastava welcomed everyone and expressed appreciation for the overwhelming support by
Indo-Canadians in all aspects of the preparation for the event. “The India Day Grand Parade in Toronto is perhaps the largest parade outside of India and it is a matter of pride for all Indo-Canadians,” she added.
MPP Nina Tangri delivered Premier Doug Ford’s message in which he conveyed his best wishes on India’s Independence Day Festival and Grand Parade. The Acting Consul General of India Mr. Saifullah Khan remarked that the Indian diaspora in Canada represents the true Indian simplicity.
The grand parade was marshalled by Bollywood star and Miss Universe 2000, Lara Dutta.
Twenty (20) floats decorated on large trucks representing various States of India including Haryana, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and a large number of other diverse social and cultural Indo-Canadian groups from GTA participated in the parade. The parade was followed by music and dance performances by local artists, such as Sukhchain & Kamal, Mohua and Sargam Band, Paromita Roy India Dance among others.
A special fashion show organized by Cancer Warrior Foundation Canada and Fashion Designer Dinesh K Ramsay featured a ramp walk by real survivors of cancer in ethnic Indian wear.
Punjabi superstar singer Garry Sandhu concluded the day at Nathan Phillips Square entertaining the energetic crowd with a live music concert. -CINEWS